The noun dread describes the fear of something bad happening, like the dread you feel when walking alone on a deserted street in the dark.

Dread is a feeling of fear, but it can also be the desire to avoid something. For example, many people feel dread at the very thought of speaking in front of an audience. As a verb, dread means "to fear or not want something to happen," like students who did not study and as a result, dread getting their graded tests back. As an adjective, dread means "frightening or terrifying," like a dread monster.

Definitions of dread

n fearful expectation or anticipation

apprehension, apprehensiveness
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a feeling of alarm or dread
boding, foreboding, premonition, presentiment
a feeling of evil to come
apprehension about what is going to happen
gloom, gloominess, somberness, sombreness
a feeling of melancholy apprehension
chill, pall
a sudden numbing dread
a premonition of something adverse
a foreboding about what is about to happen
Type of:
fear, fearfulness, fright
an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)

adj causing fear or dread or terror

“the dread presence of the headmaster”
awful, dire, direful, dreaded, dreadful, fearful, fearsome, frightening, horrendous, horrific, terrible
frightening because of an awareness of danger

v be afraid or scared of; be frightened of

be overcome by a sudden fear
freak, freak out, gross out
lose one's nerve

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